Coquito, or "little coconut," is a traditional creamy rum punch served in Puerto Rico for Christmas and throughout the winter holidays. While some cookbook recipes refer to the drink as coconut eggnog, each family puts their own twist on the drink: Some include eggs or egg yolks, others do not. Shamil Velázquez, the executive chef of Delaney Oyster House in Charleston, stands firmly in the no-egg camp. Velázquez's coquito recipe takes its richness and viscosity instead from coconut cream and three types of milk, while warming spices and white rum add aroma and flavor. In Puerto Rico, some families use pistachios, almonds, and even Nutella to flavor their proprietary blends. "People get crazy with this stuff around the island," Velázquez says. "My family's signature is the ginger, which gives a little spiciness. That's what makes ours different."
A sweet-tart blend of pineapple, raspberry, and lemon adds fresh fruit flavor to this slushy frozen drink from Erick Castro spiked with white rum, Aperol, and dry red wine. With plenty of heat from the trio of alcohols, those fresh summer fruits keep the drink well balanced. Make your own raspberry syrup by infusing simple syrup with fresh berries, or purchase a bottle at the liquor store or online.
Preparing fresh watermelon juice gives this blend-and-sip cocktail from Ten to One distillery CEO/founder Marc Farrell a burst of cool melon flavor, though fresh, high quality store-bought juice will work here, too. It’s a rum drink for margarita lovers, with a salted rim that balances tart lime juice with sweet agave syrup and just as easily makes 1 drink with leftover juice as it does 8 for a crowd.